Aecon Group Inc.'s (TSE:ARE) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

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With its stock down 16% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Aecon Group (TSE:ARE). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Aecon Group’s ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Aecon Group

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders’ Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Aecon Group is:

7.7% = CA$70m ÷ CA$902m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each CA$1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made CA$0.08 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we’ve learned that ROE is a measure of a company’s profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or “retains” for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don’t necessarily bear these characteristics.

Aecon Group’s Earnings Growth And 7.7% ROE

At first glance, Aecon Group’s ROE doesn’t look very promising. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.2%, so we won’t completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Aecon Group has shown a modest net income growth of 16% over the past five years. Considering the moderately low ROE, it is quite possible that there might be some other aspects that are positively influencing the company’s earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company’s management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing Aecon Group’s net income growth with the industry, we found that the company’s reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 16% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock’s future looks promising or ominous. What is ARE worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ARE is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Aecon Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 49% (implying that the company retains 51% of its profits), it seems that Aecon Group is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that’s well covered.

Additionally, Aecon Group has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Based on the latest analysts’ estimates, we found that the company’s future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 54%. Regardless, the future ROE for Aecon Group is predicted to rise to 9.7% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Aecon Group certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company’s fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst’s forecasts page for the company.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.